Last night Ely took on Godmanchester Rovers and again it was a disappointing game. Ely are finding it hard to regain the form that they hit last season and the performance was more on a par with the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons when the midfield seemed to lack creativity, the defence was prone to mistakes and the goals tended to come from Ben Lawrence throws into the box. This comes as a bit of a surprise as the basis of last season's team are still at the club and if anything they have managed to add some quality to the ranks. One noticeable absentee last night though was Adam Murray, who has formed a good central defensive partnership with Ben Lawrence over the last two seasons. As most of Godmanchester's attacks tended to go down the middle it is a worry that Murray, who was actually at the ground, has been linked with a move to Kettering.
The game started quite slowly, but after 10 minutes it was Ely who looked the livelier of the two teams. However, despite being the first of the two teams to settle Rovers split the defence on 19 minutes and had a 1-0 lead. It didn't take long for them to extend their lead either, on 23 minutes a fumble by Lee Pacey in the Robins' goal allowed the visitors to stretch their lead 2-0. Finally, Ely were spurned into action and on 27 minutes the ball fell in the box from a Ben Lawrence throw for Chadwick to stroke the ball home and to make the score 2-1.
Ely continued to press for the rest of the first half, but were also living dangerously with a series of defensive errors and inevitably they fell further behind just before the break when a totally needless corner was given away and the defence was left standing around like statues to allow Rovers to go in the break 3-1 up.
The Robins looked up for it in the second half and pressed to get back in the game. Rovers seemed intent on time wasting from the off and were also getting a bit bad tempered. As were the Ely players, and it looks like discipline could be another issue this season, especially as Darren Coe and Lee Pacey were both sent off last weekend. Anyway, Ely finally got the goal that they deserved on 61 minutes when Luke Parkinson scored from another Ben Lawrence power throw.
Ely continued to fight, Godmanchester continued to time waste, but the game finished with the Visitors 3-2 victors. Ely need to improve and fast and to inject a little more creativity or it could be a long season.
Photo below shows an early attack by Ely City.